Sunday 11 December 2016

Leo Varadkar criticised over tweet of election posters 'ready to be deployed'

Published 04/04/2016 | 10:30

Leo Varadkar's election posters in storage
Leo Varadkar's election posters in storage

Acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar has been criticised after he tweeted a picture of his election posters along with the comment “cleaned, counted, stored and ready to be deployed”:

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Independent TD Mattie McGrath today described the tweet as “ill-judged and unhelpful” and said it has undermined the ongoing process aimed at forming a government.

“There is more than an element of childish play-acting about this tweet which goes contrary to the seriousness of the approach that many of us have adopted,” Mr McGrath said in a statement.

“It certainly gives the impression that Minister Varadkar, clearly buoyed up by the latest polling data with respect to the Fine Gael leadership, is now trying to use that momentum to destabilise the process for his own political gain,” he added.

Mr Varadkar defended the tweet last night, saying that Fine Gael needs to be honest about the fact another election is a stark possibility.

But Mr McGrath, a Tipperary deputy, called on Mr Varadkar to withdraw the tweet.

Meanwhile, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said Health Minister Leo Vardakar might get 'a fierce shock' after tweeting his Election posters were 'ready to be deployed' again.

Mr Fitzmaurice said voters did not want a second election entering Leinster House for talks with Fianna Fail this morning.

“He might get a fierce shock if he went out to the people,” he said.

“The word we're getting on the ground is get up and get on with it. Don't be complaining and don't be whinging and get a government together.”

“But look it, some people are very loose with their tweets sometimes.”

Kerry Independent Michael Healy-Rae, who is also in talks with Fianna Fail, joined Mr Fitzmaurice in criticising Mr Varadkar.

“The posters got their airing already this year,” he said.

“I certainly have no anxiety to see my head up on any poll this year or next year, if I can have anything to do with it.”

Mattie McGrath following his earlier statement said, that the tweet was “an attempt to bully us or frighten us.”

“Maybe the poll (showing public support for Micheal Martin) yesterday might have had something to do with. He might have fancied himself as Taoiseach,” Mr McGrath said entering Leinster House this morning.

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